Kurt Verlin
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Red Bull Requests FIA to Review Silverstone F1 Crash

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Max Verstappen says he ‘can’t be bothered’

2013 British Grand Prix start
Photo: Tim Carrey via CC

The controversy surrounding the crash between Formula 1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen has yet to end. After the two came together at the British Grand Prix, the stewards handed Hamilton a 10-second time penalty, but Red Bull Racing feels this punishment did not go far enough. After all, its star driver was sent to the hospital while Hamilton went on to win the race and all but close the substantial gap that Verstappen had built in the championship.

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In pursuit of a greater sanction, Red Bull has now requested that the FIA review the incident again. According to the regulations, the team is entitled to do this if “a significant and relevant new element is discovered which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned.”

A conference will be held on Thursday, ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, that will include representatives from both Red Bull and Mercedes. At this time, the FIA will determine whether the “new elements” brought forward by the former party warrant re-opening the case. It’s unclear what these elements will be, as the video and telemetry data for the crash had already been reviewed when the Silverstone stewards penalized Hamilton.

In the meantime, Verstappen says he “can’t be bothered” with all of the media hype surrounding the incident and prefers to focus on the next race. In fact, he participated in a virtual 24-hour race over the weekend to “to see how my body would react to spending time sat in one position and behind screens for a long time.” The young Dutch driver finished sixth in said event and concluded that he “felt absolutely fine which makes me feel positive heading into the weekend.”

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Verstappen may act nonchalantly about the whole thing but his team feels otherwise. Red Bull boss Christian Horner revealed the crash cost the team £1.3 million and because the engine is likely unrecoverable, Verstappen may need to use extra powertrain components later in the season and face grid penalties as a consequence. “It’s no secret that we felt at the time, and still feel, that Hamilton was given a light penalty for this type of incident,” Horner wrote in column on the team’s website. Mercedes, predictably, thinks the penalty its driver received was too harsh.

If the FIA chooses not to re-open the case on Thursday, the meeting may mark the end of this back-and-forth. On the other hand, it could just as well add more fuel to the fire.